On the 25th anniversary of the riots in the Watts area of Los Angeles comes a re-creation of those explosive days when generations of racial tensions came to a head. The two-hour TNT telefilm "Heat Wave" premieres Monday at 8 p.m.
The movie stars Blair Underwood ("L.A. Law"), Cicely Tyson, James Earl Jones, Sally Kirkland and Margaret Avery. As the L.A. Times' first black reporter-trainee, Underwood gets his big chance when the paper is unable to send any of its all-white staff into battered Watts, where a routine traffic arrest is turning violent. For the next six days Underwood's reports, part of the articles that won the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize, bring him a mixed reaction in Watts where some see him as a hero and others consider him a traitor.
Replays on Monday at 10 p.m., midnight and 2 a.m., Tuesday at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Saturday at 10 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 19, at 4 p.m.
This Week on The Discovery Channel comes "Shark Week '90," a big ratings success last year. The package includes a world-, a cable- and two U.S. television premieres. The shows, with encores in parentheses, are: "Jaws -- The True Story," Sunday at 10 p.m. (Tuesday at midnight and Saturday at 7 p.m.); World TV premiere of "The World of Sharks and Barracuda," Sunday at midnight (Friday at 10 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m.); "Sharks -- Hunters of the Sea," Monday at 10 p.m. (Wednesday at midnight and Saturday at 6 p.m.); "Sharkhunters/Sharks -- Predators or Prey?," Monday at midnight (Saturday at 10 p.m. and next Sunday at 5 p.m.); "Shark!," Tuesday at 10 p.m. (Thursday at midnight and Saturday at 5 p.m.) "Operation Shark Attack!," Wednesday at 10 p.m. (Friday at midnight and next Sunday at 7 p.m.) and "The Great Whites of Dangerous Reef," Thursday at 10 p.m. (Saturday at midnight and next Sunday at 6 p.m.) TDC is also showing "In Search of the Great White Shark" on its "Challenge" series Monday at 8 p.m. (Saturday at 1 and 11 p.m.). That's a total of 24 hours of sharking for the week, seven of them on Saturday.
Sunday on TBS at 9 p.m. National Geographic Explorer's "Season of the Hawk" follows the adventurous first year of the red-tailed hawk from a ball of fluff in an oak tree to his instinctive Caribbean migration.
Monday on The Nashville Network at 11 p.m. "Fairs and Festivals: Bluefield, W. Va.," is full of the fun and flavor of the Telescripps Mountain Festival filmed on Memorial Day weekend.
Friday on The Disney Channel at 7 p.m. Charlton Heston stars in the Disney premiere film, "The Little Kidnappers." Adapted from Neil Peterson's classic novel, "The Kidnappers," it's a tale about two Scottish orphans sent to live with their grandfather in a small coastal town in Nova Scotia. Repeats: Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. and Aug. 27 at 1 p.m.
Saturday on Showtime at 10:05 p.m. the pilot of "Laugh!s," a humorous look at the comedy circuit. Set in a comedy club, it stars Todd Sussman, Valerie Landsburg, Fran Montano, Tamara Clutterbuck and Ja'Net Dubois. Warren Thomas and Fred Stoller appear in guest spots. Repeats: Aug. 24 and 28.